LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - There's a crisis coming and it can't be cooped up anymore. Football season is a few weeks away, but the price of chicken wings is already through the hen house roof.
The price rise involves commodity prices and economic theories, but the main thing as our 11News investigation found out, chicken wings are just so popular and tasty.
In fact, chicken wings are hot in more ways than one.
“The best secret is to make sure they are crispy and well done,” said Robert Gilmore, the cook at Markham St. Grill & Pub in Little Rock. “We have a secret flour. I’ll get in trouble if I tell what’s in the secret flour.”
Gilmore has been working grills and fryers for 30 years, and for more than seven years at the popular sports bar. The football season brings a rush for their famous wings.
“Sometimes we get five, six orders of [a dozen] and you have to cook'em all,” he said. “I cook them all at one time. Be ready to go.”
The lowly chicken wing is giving us all a lesson in economics. It's pushing the price of poultry up because they're so popular, and it's putting pressure who sell them to try and keep the cost down.
“It's supply and demand. It's that basic,” said Rob Byford, a franchise owner of Slim Chickens in Little Rock. “Buffalo wings are now being sold by not only just chicken places, which weren't around 20 years ago, but also being sold in grocery stores and pizza chains and all across the board.”
And in a sign of how powerful football is in America, the season now drives a commodity market in this country. In this case - chicken futures.
“Football season is a huge part of the wing business,” said Byford. “We're seeing prices as high now as what we would expect to see throughout the course of the year. And I don't think.they have stopped yet.”
But Byford says his stores will work to keep prices on the mild side.
“We're going to take the hit, and we're not going to pass it along to the consumer,” he said, adding with a chuckle. “We're going to absorb it for the short term, but we're going to all get through this together.”